One of the favorite things you hear all the time from people is “Practice what you preach”.
Being a preacher I think people are able to say this more to me than your every run of the day person as it sorta goes with the territory that if you are called a preacher you probably preach. Which leads me to the question do I practice what I am preaching?
I know that God has a sense of humor because on the days when I speak on a topic, I generally 99.9% of the time, have to put what I just spoke about into practice within several hours of speaking on it. It’s almost as if God is saying if you are going to speak on this subject than you better be willing to live it also. I think that might be why I don’t speak on the dangers of Mt. Dew and Swiss cake rolls!
So this Sunday, I felt God leading me towards the principle of patience to speak on. Patience is something I need to work on. I continually have to say to myself “Rome wasn’t built in a day” and you can quickly become overwhelmed when you look around and see all that you would like to have done. I think the principle of the Patience comes in big time when it comes to teaching Sabbath.
In scripture we see that on the Sabbath, life pretty much came to a stand still. You would only be allowed to walk a certain amount of steps in Jewish culture, there were even strict rules regarding food preparation on those days. I can imagine scrambling to get things done the night before in preparation for the day. So sabbath finally comes and you have to sit and rest. For some this would be infuriating as I imagine they were thinking of all they had to achieve the next day, from different jobs to all the other things that take up our time. Yet somewhere in the midst of the day as they rested and had sabbath they began to learn a principle of the Kingdom. To wait. To be patient.
Sometimes my children ask for things at home and I will tell them to wait. Not to be mean or to be a jerk, but instead to teach them what it means to have patience for something. If I give them everything they want immediately then they grow used to instant gratification and we all know that with children that is a serious problem! Being God’s Children can you see sometimes why He would want us to wait?
Can you imagine if God gave us everything we wanted immediately when we asked for it?
I am reminded of the movie Bruce Almighty when Bruce answers yes to all the “e-mails” to God. Over 10 million people won the lottery in one evening. That scene has always stuck out to me. He says yes to all the requests simply because he didn’t want to take the time to read each one and spend time with each different request. I wonder if the writer realized the deep theological thoughts behind that scene.
In reality we have a God who listens individually to each request and weighs in on each one to bring about a deeper growth inside each one of us. Who has a desire to teach us the principle of patience. I think He does that because one day when we finally receive what we have been seeking. How wonderful it will be!
Lord, Teach me patience and when I finally receive what You have for me, May I be content.